Pinehurst history really began on February 11, 1835 when Leonard and Hepzebah
Fosdick Tufts had a son, and named him James Walker Tufts. What seems
unremarkable was actually the birth of an extraordinary man who eventually
purchased a barren patch of land and turned it into one of America’s foremost
resort locations, Pinehurst NC, the home of golf.
Leonard and Hepzebah had four children, two of whom died very young. James’
surviving brother was several years older than he and when his father died in
1851, he was immediately apprenticed at Samuel Kidder & Company in Charlestown,
Massachusetts. He was apprenticed there at age sixteen for six years, earning
$50.00 the first year and $175.00 by age twenty-one. During the time he worked
for Kidder, he earned extra money, making cigars out of sweet fern, selling
lozenges and almanacs around the
neighboring towns, and began experimenting with
making chewing gum. In addition to his earnings from Kidder, some weeks he made
as much as $1.46.
Three days after he completed his apprenticeship, with help and advice from
some of his father’s friends, he located and purchased his own shop in
Sommerville, Massachusetts. He worked long hours and prepared his own remedies
and extracts. Four years later, he was able to purchase a second store in
Medford, Massachusetts, and later he purchased shops in Winchester, Woburn and
Boston, Massachusetts, creating one of the earliest drug store chains.
About this time, he met and married Mary Emma Clough and started a family.
They had four children, two of whom died young, and Mary Gertrude Tufts, and
Leonard, who later inherited Pinehurst upon his father’s death. He began
manufacturing items for other apothecaries, and by age 27, created a complete
line of soda fountain supplies including flavored extracts. He developed his own
soda fountain apparatus and started the Arctic Soda Fountain Company. The Tufts
soda fountains were made out of Italian marble, block tin, and heavy silver
plate. He also manufactured functional silver-plate items such as napkin rings,
toothpick holders, baskets, urns, jewel boxes and casters. All items were made
of quadruple silver plate and bore the Tufts mark and number. In 1877 he
published a catalog, offering soda fountains ranging in price form $2400 to
$275. Most were elaborate, bearing multiple spigots, cherubs, figures of women
or animals, plants and ferns, weathervanes, and towers. The catalog also offered
other devices such as mineral waters, siphons, beer attachments (for root beer
and ginger ales) and items invented or perfected by Tufts such as carbon dioxide
gas generators for carbonation, table top fountains, bottling machines, and
tumbler washers. In 1891, Tufts manufacturing business consolidated with A.D.
Puffer & Sons of Boston, John Matthews of New York, and Charles Lippincott of
Philadelphia into American Soda Fountain Company. James W. Tufts was president.
In 1876, a Centennial Exhibition was held in Philadelphia, celebrating the
birth of the republic and 100 years of progress. On exhibit were numerous
gadgets, inventions, and widgets. Included was a prototype slice of the cable
that was used to secure the Brooklyn Bridge, the first typewriter, an early
telephone that frightened visitors by “talking”, and the Corliss Steam Engine,
huffing and puffing and larger than a house. Newspapers were printed on site,
machines were sewing, wallpaper was printed and logs were sawed. In the midst of
all this stood a Tufts Artic Soda Fountain. In 1876, James W. Tufts and Charles
Lippincott paid $50,000 for exclusive rights to sell soda water beverages and
ice cream sodas. They displayed a 30-foot tall fountain with elaborate spigots,
hanging ferns, a chandelier, and it even sprayed perfume in the air. For $.25
one could purchase a packet of dried herbs to take home and create root beer, an
early instant beverage.
During this time, James’ son, Leonard and Gertrude’s husband, William Jenney
became active in the business, and by 1895, James sold his part of the American
Soda Fountain business for $700.000. Not content with the quiet life of
retirement, at age 60, he began to plan a mid-south resort.
There were always people from the North trying to seek some respite from the
harsh New England winters, most heading to Florida. Also, at this time, many
people were suffering from consumption—tuberculosis. Tufts, not a hearty man
himself, hoped to find a place where the un-well could come for the cure and
bring their families and friends to a restful, healthful area. James W. Tufts
had heard talk about the curative powers of the Sandhills from an acquaintance
in Boston, Rev, Edward Everett Hale. Hale, a Unitarian minister, chaplain of the
US Senate, author of The Man without a Country, was a well-known reformer. With
his assistance and inspiration, Tufts planned his mid-south resort and shaped
the cornerstone of what would become Pinehurst history.
The first step was to find a location. After visiting the Sandhills, Tufts
selected a location and purchased about 600 acres of land from Luis A. Page in
1895, the area that is now the racetrack, the country club, and most of the
village green. Later purchases were made from Sally Throne and H. A. and J. R.
Page. Eventually Tufts purchased almost 6000 acres averaging about $1.25 an
acre. A local resident, Mr. Neil Shaw, was quoted saying that the Pages had
cheated Mr. Tufts, as the land wasn’t worth “but $.85 an acre.
The area Tufts purchased was part of the Pine Barrens.
The trees in the area
had been used for the turpentine, pitch and tar industry. The trees were cut in
v-shaped downward angles that allowed pinesap to flow into a flat area cut into
the tree. The section was referred to as “the box.” Experienced workers could
cut the box in 10 minutes, using an ax especially created for the job. As years
went on, a new box would be cut, finally weakening the tree enough that they
simply fell or blew over, or died. The old, dried resins and sap created a
highly flammable residue and flash fires were frequent. A very serious
conflagration threatened the village in February of 1898. According to very
early accounts from Pinehurst history, the fires could be
seen from the village and backfires were set, saving the village from harm.
Because of the damage from fires, and his anxiousness to create an attractive
and welcoming village, James W. Tufts called on the firm of Olmsted, Olmsted &
Elliot. Frederick Law Olmsted had become known for designing the layout for
Central Park in New York. Olmsted believed that cities should be places of
beauty and not just commerce centers. He planned scenic areas and areas for
recreation. He attempted to follow the curve of the land and avoided traditional
usage of right angles, or the resulting grid patterns. He believed in a
transitional area between the homes and public streets for public use. This area
would be filled with plantings. Tufts had originally intended the village to be
a health resort for recovering consumptives, or tuberculosis patients. His motive was entirely
philanthropic and he intended to sell no land or make a profit. He would build a
hotel, several cottages and rooming houses for rental. He wanted the buildings
to fit naturally into the landscape.
Tufts agreed to a plan for $300. Warren Manning, an associate, would make
visits and supervise, as Olmstead was in the early stages of dementia. Manning
worked for Olmsted from 1888 to 1895. He began visiting in 1895. He took charge
of plantings immediately and acquired over 200,00 plants, with about 47,000
coming from France. Local plantings were brought in from the surrounding swamps,
and a great many were cultivated and propagated on site. The soil was poor and
sandy. Grasses and small grains were difficult to grow. The planned Village
Green became a grove of pines. Eventually the plants thrived and the buildings
appeared to be tucked into the plantings.
Construction workers and shippers of goods had begun referring to the
settlement as “Tuftstown” or “Pinalia.” Tufts disliked both names and actually
chose Pinehurst from a list of potential names for Martha’s Vineyard. There had
been a contest and the finalists were printed in the local paper, and Tufts had
seen them. He wrote the individual who had suggested the name and got permission
for its use, and the village was officially named Pinehurst.
By the end of 1896 they had built twenty cottages. They were rented for the season at
10% of the cost to build them. After learning that tuberculosis was contagious,
guests were required to send, in advance, a certificate of health from a
physician, and a statement of religious and moral standing from a minister.
Between 1895 and 1897, 38 cottages and boarding houses were built,
32 of which
still survive today. Early cottages were usually small, but well made frame
and wood shingled homes.
During this time of rapid growth and construction, the guests were looking
for new ways to be entertained and many of the guests from the North began
banging around a little white ball in the dairy fields. James Walker Tufts had
been advised by a number of his associates that golf was probably a “passing
fancy” and not worth the cost or trouble, but fearing that milk production would
be adversely affected with all the commotion, James Walker Tufts commissioned a
nine-hole golf course during the 1897-98 season built on 60 acres south of the
lower end of the village green and designed by Dr. D. Leroy Culver. Dr. Culver
had a medical practice in New York, but had moved to neighboring Southern Pines.
During his travels to Europe, he visited many of the finest links in England,
Scotland and the continent. Mr. John Dunn Tucker of Stockbridge, Massachusetts
was the first course superintendent and golf instructor. By the fall of 1899, a
clubhouse had been built and the course had been extended to 18 holes. Interest
was further stimulated when British Open Champion Harry Vardon visited Pinehurst
and was very favorably impressed.
Donald James Ross was born in Dornoch, Scotland. He apprenticed under Old Tom
Morris at St. Andrews and finished his golf education at Carnoustie. At age 26,
he left Scotland for the states, where he became golf professional and green
keeper at Oakley in Watertown, Massachusetts. In 1900, James Walker Tufts met
Donald James Ross at Oakley Golf Club. He immediately engaged him for one year.
He worked in Pinehurst only during the winter, and continued at Oakley during
He immediately reworked the 18 holes, the first 9 of which had been scraped
out by Dr. Culver and the last nine by Tufts and Mr. George C. Dutton of Boston.
As the demand grew, more holes were added and revised by Ross. Pinehurst #2
opened in 1901.
Construction on the early golf courses in Pinehurst history was all done by hand, and with horse
and mule drawn carts, wagons and apparatuses. Using a variation of what was
called the King Road Drag, they created the fairways. The adjustable blade would
smooth the surface. A drag pan was used for scooping out bunkers and surfacing
greens, and a harrow was used to remove roots. The courses followed the lay of
the land, and consisted mostly of small built-up clay tees and holes with a few
feet of flattened clay around the hole. Boxes of sand were placed at each hole
so that a small pile of it could be used to create a tee. Putting greens were
made of sand and clay. They were rolled every morning, and sprinkled with water
carried in barrels on horse-drawn wagons. Some greens were even oiled. The
moisture evaporated quickly, leaving a firm surface like a billiard table, and
also drained quickly in the event of rain. After play, caddies standing nearby
would take a large square of carpet scrap attached to a rope, and smooth the
green by dragging the carpet around the surface.
James Walker Tufts died in 1902. His son, Leonard, had been active in the
soda fountain business and had remained in Massachusetts. He soon discovered
that inheriting Pinehurst would keep him busy, so in 1904, he moved to North
Carolina with his wife, Gertrude. Leonard was very interested in the agriculture
business of Pinehurst. Pinehurst was a self-sufficient village, with its own
market gardens, greenhouse, power plant, dairy and piggery. At the time, the
Vanderbilt’s in Asheville owned the only purebred Berkshire hogs in North
Carolina. Leonard purchased a foundation heard from them and began breeding his
own Berkshires in 1903. They were quick growing, required minimal feed, and bore
large litters. He also selected Ayrshire Cattle for the dairy. Leonard believed
that a poor specimen ate as much as a good specimen, and only the strongest,
healthiest and best producers were bred. In June of 1935 at NC State, Leonard
was awarded for conspicuous service to agriculture in North Carolina for
scientific breeding and improvement of livestock. In addition he was honored for
“use of native shrubbery to make Pinehurst a beauty spot of the state” and for
his early interest in improving the state’s highways.
In 1945, Leonard Tufts died. His son, Richard Sise Tufts had become president
of Pinehurst, Inc. in 1935, after being vice-president for fourteen years.
Richard was responsible for making Pinehurst the golf Mecca that it has become
today. He became very active in the United States Golf Association and served as
its president from 1956 to 1958. He was instrumental in starting the junior
championships and the public links championships. His book, The Principles
Behind the Rules of Golf is considered to be a classic and is written in a clear
and straightforward manner. He also wrote what is now called “The Amateur’s
Creed,” an eloquent description of the ways of amateurism. Richard continued to
foster growth throughout Pinehurst history, but always remained true to the original atmosphere
and quality of the village.
In 1970, Pinehurst, Inc was sold to the Diamondhead Corporation for $9
million. Diamondhead immediately began erecting condominiums along the golf
courses. In 1984, Club Corporation of America purchased the resort properties
and is the current owner and operator. Club Corp has been responsible for
returning the resort facilities to their premium quality and bringing 3 Men's
United States Opens to the famed
Pinehurst #2 course.
Payne Stewart took the title in 1999, before tragically dying in a plane crash.
Michael Campbell defeated Tiger Woods in 2005 before a record crowd, and
Pinehurst will host the Men's Open once again in 2014 on Pinehurst #2.
women have been to Pinehurst NC 3 times, the latest of which was the 2007
Women's Open, in which Cristie Kerr finally took the title
Pine Needles always hosts the ladies when they come to town, and the tournament
is always an
incredible event. Annika Sorenstam took the title home in 1996. Pine
Needles and Mid Pines are incredible courses with classic Donald Ross designs.
The women will also come back to Pinehurst in 2014 and Get This, it will be the
week following the Men's US Open and they will be playing on Pinehurst #2! Can
you believe that? Two weeks of the most incredible golf ever to be played in Pinehurst history, back to
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